Water quality issues fall into two categories: local water purity (for human health) and the long-term health of the water ecosystem. The Georgian Bay Association strongly supports monitoring programs for both.
Local Water Purity
The safety of the waters of Georgian Bay for drinking and swimming is of vital concern to everyone enjoying the Bay. Although our water appears pristine, that cannot be taken as a guarantee of their potability. The GBA urges all cottagers, boaters and campers to take measures to treat all their drinking water.
There are a variety of measures that can be employed, from ultraviolet or reverse osmosis systems to simple measures such as bringing water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking. People should consult a water purification expert and choose the best solution for their cottage, boat or camping trip. For more information, check out the Public Health website
Long-Term Health of the Water Ecosystem
Over the years, GBA has worked with both Georgian Bay Township and the Township of the Archipelago to set up and maintain their on-going studies of the health of the waters of Georgian Bay. We continue to strongly endorse the continuance of these studies and monitor the outcomes closely.
Water quality is linked to water levels
Following the dramatic water loss that began in 1999, we began to see the impacts of decreased water exchange in enclosed bays along the coast. There are now seven bays that have elevated phosphous levels late in the summer. One of the bays has endured four years of health advisories due to toxic blue green algal blooms. Once that happens the problem becomes very difficult to solve, since the de-oxygenated waters result in more phosphorus being released from the decomposing sediments. To learn more, click here (it’s a 300MB file : RECOMEND saving file to desktop first) for our 9 year summary report.